Entertainment during Notre Dame College athletics has boomed over the last several years, leaving student performance groups almost competing for equal time.
The College Athletics Department makes time during basketball games, in particular, to include all performance programs, including the cheerleaders, dance team and pep band.
The cheer team and relatively new dance squad perform during media and 30-second timeouts, leaving the band to play during any remaining stoppages in play called by either bench.
As far as halftime, the dance team and band share, with about half the time each.
With the large and still growing number of students involved in the spirit and performing arts programs, the groups don’t often have much time to display their talents.
“The cheerleading squad and dance team are both a part of the spirit program. So often we perform at the same time if both teams are present,” said Laura Beavers, head cheerleader coach.
The pep band, in particular, has seen its options to perform at basketball games limited on occasion.
“I think it is very nice that we are able to highlight many different activities that are NDC, but I believe live music performed at a sporting event is important to a collegiate atmosphere,” said David Roth, director of bands at Notre Dame.
Roth also said he believes if the musicians are there, they should be playing.
“The band is an excellent addition to game day that improves upon the already energetic atmosphere during basketball,” Roth said.
A larger performance space, and a larger venue for athletics, could make a difference, according to the band director.
“I’m used to much larger gyms, even for high school teams,” Roth said. “I believe that within the size restriction, we do a very good job making accommodations.”
While the performance groups have to share the spotlight during the sports contest, at the end of each day, at the end of each basketball game, all of the cheer, dance and band members and the crowds they perform for, still have the same goal.
“My favorite part of the basketball games is the atmosphere that is created when a game is close or when the crowd is intently focused on the success of the team,” said Beavers. “For a limited amount of time, all of the Notre Dame fans in the gym have the same goal, regardless of their differences.”